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Puran Thapa, 7, Killed by Motorist in Ridgewood; No Charges Filed

Myrtle Avenue at Madison Street. Image: Google Maps

A 7-year-old boy was struck and killed by a motorist in Ridgewood Thursday evening.

Puran Thapa was crossing Myrtle Avenue at Madison Street when, as his father looked on, he was hit by the driver of a Toyota SUV traveling east on Myrtle, according to reports. From the Post:

“I saw the child lying in the street -- right on the double yellow line,” said pharmacy worker Darlyn Deleon, 22. “The father was kneeling next to the child and crying. The child looked bad.”

NYPD told the Post that Puran "darted" into the street. As is the norm when a child killed in traffic is blamed for his or her own death, no mention was made of the motorist's speed. Within hours of the crash, police were telling the media that "No criminality is suspected."

In the past 13 months, no fewer than nine children aged 14 and under have been killed by city motorists, according to data compiled by Streetsblog. Of the eight drivers who remained at the scene, or fled the scene but were later identified, none were charged by NYPD or city district attorneys for causing a death.

As Mayor Bloomberg continues his work to reduce worldwide road fatalities, traffic crashes remain the second leading cause of death for children in New York City, after illness. Bloomberg hasn't lifted a finger to reform the NYPD's shoddy approach to traffic enforcement and investigations under Ray Kelly. Rather than addressing the charge that the department's crash investigation procedures are in violation of state law, the mayor has scolded the press for raising the question.

This fatal crash occurred in the 104th Precinct. To voice your concerns about neighborhood traffic safety directly to Deputy Inspector Michael A. Cody, the commanding officer, go to the next precinct community council meeting. The 104th Precinct council meetings happen at 7:30 p.m. on the last Wednesday of every month at Maspeth Town Hall, 53-37 72nd Street. Call 718-386-2431 for information.

The City Council district where Puran Thapa was killed is represented by Diana Reyna. To encourage Reyna to take action to improve street safety in her district and citywide, contact her at 212-788-7095 or 718-963-3141.

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